BMO Bank of Montreal
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BMO Bank of Montreal

October 07, 2011 07:00 ET

BMO: Go Local and Support Canadian Farm Families This Weekend

- 94 per cent of Canadians believe it's important to buy locally grown produce and wine on a regular basis

- Agricultural sector accounts for approximately eight per cent of Canada's total Gross Domestic Product

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 7, 2011) - From the oven roasted turkey to a homemade pumpkin pie, this Thanksgiving weekend Canadians are looking to put more locally grown food on the table, a trend that is catching on throughout the year.

According to a BMO survey, commissioned by Leger Marketing, the majority of Canadians (94 per cent) believe it's important to support local farmers and buy local on a regular basis.

"Canadians understand the significant contribution our farm families, and the agricultural industry as a whole, make to Canada's national economy," said David Rinneard, National Manager, Agriculture, BMO Bank of Montreal. "By buying locally, it supports an industry that currently employs one in eight jobs directly and accounts for approximately eight per cent of Canada's total GDP."

Fast Facts About Canada's Agriculture Industry:

  • Canada is the world's fourth largest agriculture exporter and 6th largest importer, accounting for a combined $63 billion in global trade
  • Local farmers' markets are responsible for over $1 billion in sales and have a total economic affect of over $3 billion

BMO's survey also revealed that Canadians try to purchase the following home-grown products always or frequently:

  • Poultry (77 per cent)
  • Vegetables (77 per cent)
  • Beef (75 per cent)
  • Fruit (70 per cent)
  • Cheese (70 per cent)

"By visiting a nearby farmers market or surveying your grocery store, many of the typical Thanksgiving menu items such as turkey, garden vegetables, grains, gourds and beverages including wine and beer, can be bought from local producers," added Mr. Rinneard.

Turkey, all the Fixins', and Canadian Wines

  • Turkeys were domesticated by North American Aboriginal Peoples over 2,000 years ago
  • Turkey (both white and dark meat) is an excellent source of protein, lean, low in sodium and an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals
  • In Canada, over 500 turkey farmers produce on average 164 million kg of turkey worth over $388 million annually
  • Wild fruits and berries; cranberries in eastern portions of North America, the Bakeapple or Cloudberry in the Maritimes, and the Saskatoon Berry have a long tradition at harvest celebrations dating back to early settlers
  • Today, pumpkins are the fastest growing crop in Canada, and are the seventh most important vegetable after potatoes, sweet corn, peas, beans, tomatoes and carrots
  • The holiday favorite pumpkin pie, became popular over time with early settlers as supplies of the essential ingredient molasses became more readily available
  • Canadian wines offer many choices to compliment a festive holiday meal, including the popular Chardonnays, Merlots, Gewürztraminers, and even cranberry and specialty wines

BMO also reminds Canadians that while this is an opportunity to give thanks for family, friends and the harvest, there are many who will not have a holiday table of their own. "At BMO we believe it is important to be part of the community, and encourage Canadians to donate to a food bank or community organization, which helps ensure those with limited resources can sit down to a healthy, nutritious meal this holiday weekend," added Mr. Rinneard.

The survey was completed online from June 27 to 30, 2011, using Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb. A sample of 1576 Canadians, 18 years of age or older, were surveyed.

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